History in the making – how new Medieval Quarter will look
PLANS to completely transform the area around Manchester Cathedral have been submitted to the council - including a brand new tree-lined river park.
Architects SimpsonHaugh have revealed their design for the city’s ‘Medieval Quarter’ - the area surrounding the cathedral and historic Chetham’s School of Music.
Their proposals, currently being looked at by planning officers, would create a new network of walkways and green spaces along the River Irwell.
It is not only the first part of a planned upgrade for public space across the surrounding area, including Victoria Station, the National Football Museum and the Corn Exchange, but the final part of the revamp planned in the wake of the IRA bomb in 1996.
The designs would see a new paved, tree-lined waterside route running along the Irwell from Victoria Bridge Street to the station, past a sequence of green pockets it describes as ‘rain gardens and reflection spaces.’
In the original masterplan for the area - approved by the council two years ago - willow trees were identified for the park, a nod to the ‘withies’ of Withy Grove.
As well as the willow groves, the masterplan also outlines statues, memorials and public art for the route. New seating would also be installed, including around terraced lawns near to the cathedral itself, which will have a clearer, more open entrance onto Deansgate, creating a ‘front door’ for the entire area.
The latest plans are just the first part of the council’s programme to upgrade the entire area leading from Victoria station through some of the oldest remaining parts of the city, including the 17th Century Chetham’s building.
Future phases will see new green space and seating around the Corn Exchange, according to the 2016 masterplan, an improved public entrance to the National Football Museum and access to the arches that face onto the River Irwell.
A masterplan of the new scheme